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Taliban Claim Victory Over Panjshir Valley; Celebration After Palestinian Prisoners Escape; School Reopen In Mexico After 17 Months. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired September 06, 2021 - 10:00:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The Taliban raise the flag over the last opposition stronghold in Afghanistan. The significance of that

move in a live report from Kabul. That is coming up

Six Palestinian prisoners executed daring escape from an Israeli jail. How that happened ahead on the show. And.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Asked how she felt about going back to school, the seven-year-old could only utter one word. Excited she said.


ANDERSON: Youngsters in Mexico look forward to catching up with their friends why their parents, though, are anxious. The first in our week long

global series back to school.

All right. It's 6:00 p.m. in Abu Dhabi. It is 9:00 a.m. in Mexico City. I'm Becky Anderson. Hello, and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. We start this out

with the latest from Afghanistan for you. And after two weeks of fierce fighting the Taliban say they have completely conquered the final contested

area of the country. A social media video posted online said to show the Taliban flag being raised near the governor's office in Panjshir's

provincial capital.

But it's unclear how much of the area the Taliban actually control. The National Resistance Front as they are known says its forces are still

present in positions across the province. Its leader, Ahmad Massoud today calling on all Afghans to join a national uprising against the Taliban.

Well, this comes as the Taliban spokesman says the group hopes to announce a new government in a few days time.

Adding that it may be a caretaker government, the spokesman also reporting progress in getting the Kabul airport back to normal claiming departing

American troops deliberately destroyed parts of the infrastructure there.

Domestic flights have resumed and aid planes landed on Sunday with medical supplies and food journalist. Well, journalist Ben Farmer joining us once

again today from Kabul. Good to have you with us, Ben. Let's start with that news from Panjshir. What's the latest there and why is this area of

Afghanistan so significant?

BEN FARMER, THE TELEGRAPH PAKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, the latest we have is that the Taliban say that they have

completed the conquest of pan share. And that's significant because that was the last part of the country which was holding out against them. As

we've seen, they've released video of them raising their white banner above government buildings.

But phone lines or cuts in the province. And it's difficult to verify independently what has happened. It's a long, narrow mountainous valley.

And the resistance forces say that they are still holding strategic positions. There are several side valleys going off the main -- the main

road up the valley. And they say that they're still fighting in those places. But we do know that they are struggling and that their position is


They released a statement overnight, asking for the international community to stop the onslaught. And they said that they wanted to have talks on a

political settlement.

ANDERSON: Well, meantime, the Taliban determined that this area is now under their control. And they are set to announce what they say could be

just a caretaker government at this point. Is it clear what that government might look like in the short term? And is it clear when we might get an

indication of whether it's actually in place at this point?

FARMER: Well, we've been waiting for them to announce the government for some time. They keep saying it's going to be just around the corner. But

it's not. We haven't heard yet. And that's led to some speculation that there might be some internal disagreements. They have -- the biggest

speculation is that a man called Mahabharata who has led the political team in Doha and negotiated the deal with Donald Trump which saw American troops


He is a front runner to be in charge of day to day operations running the government. How the rest of this government will be structured is not

clear. But there is speculation, there'll be some kind of ruling council, maybe of 20 or so people that will make a lot of the day to day decisions.

But we haven't yet heard one that will be announced. We keep asking the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid he keeps saying it soon, but we

haven't seen it yet.


ANDERSON: What's the atmosphere like in Kabul?

FARMER: It's still tense. I spent a lot of time here over the years but never seen it so quiet. And lots of people are obviously deciding that they

don't want to come out. Now, whether that is fair, or whether that is because of the economic situation is not clear. But the streets are very

empty, roads are very empty and it has an eerie feel to it.

ANDERSON: Ben Farmer is in Kabul. Ben, thank you for that. A stark reminder of what life is now like on the Taliban. These pictures showing female and

male students separated by curtains at a university in Kabul. the Taliban's education ministry approving a proposal to keep the sexes divided in class

and require all female students, faculty and staff to wear a hijab.

Well, CNN International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson connecting us from Islamabad in Pakistan. Nic, we've just heard from Ben farmer, the City of

Kabul he says is eerily quiet as residents there and around Afghanistan await the makeup of this new government. What are you hearing from your


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, I've heard this idea as well that the government that appears now could morph and change

going forward. And it's hard to know precisely how to interpret that. You know, I think what I'm hearing here from people I'm talking to is -- going

down the expectation of a woman being in a senior role in government playing down the expectation that there could be a senior politician from

the former government playing a leading role in this new government as part of its inclusivity.

So, I think those are the indications. When you try to sort of read between the lines, what it means to say, a caretaker government is what the Taliban

is saying and what people here are saying which is the government could change. You get the idea that the Taliban know that this is a very big

hurdle for them, this government, what it looks like how inclusive it really is, for their relationships with the international community.

So, there's some scope being laid here, that if they don't get it quite right, at first, it might change. And I think another important

consideration when you think about changes as one of the senior, most powerful figures in the Taliban has been Sirajuddin Haqqani who is under

U.N. sanctions, connections to terrorism. And sources here in Pakistan say that the Taliban wouldn't appoint somebody with those U.N. sanctions on

them to the government.

So potentially, in the background here, the Taliban are trying to work out, can they get these sanctions removed so he can be in government? Can that

happen a little further down the road? The reality is, we're not getting leaks and the Taliban are very tight on this issue. And this is sort of

reasonably unusual. We're not getting leaks from high up in the Taliban about what the government's going to look like. And I think we have to be

wary of the too much analysis.

ANDERSON: Yes. We know who will run that country going forward. It's the Taliban. How they will run the country is a question that is yet to be

answered, of course. Thank you. The Taliban firmly in power. What does the U.S. then do next? On the diplomatic front, that's one question out there.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken due to land in Qatar in the next couple of hours. Qatar of course a key player in both the negotiations and

the evacuations later this week.

Blinken will spend time at the U.S. Airbase in Ramstein in Germany where while he's there, he will co-host a virtual meeting of U.S. allies. Well,

this comes as U.S. defense chief Lloyd Austin makes a separate trip to the region. Sam Kiley has been reporting for us from Doha for some time now.

CNN's Barbara Starr is at the Pentagon. Let's start with you, Barbara. What does Tony Blinken hope to accomplish on this visit?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, in terms of the stuff in Qatar, I think it's very fair to say he will be thanking the Qatari

government for their extensive help in getting people out of Afghanistan and hosting some of the Afghan people who have left. It has been a real

transportation hub there to get people out and keep people moving along on their journey. So there will be some thanks for that.

But there will also be a look ahead as you mentioned, Becky. The U.S. needs counterterrorism partners in the now with the U.S. no longer in

Afghanistan. They've been talking about these over the horizon counterterrorism missions, which basically means launching aircraft,

launching drones from outside of Afghanistan and going after targets when they find them. So you need a partner in the region to make that happen.

That's one of the reasons Blinken is in the region. And one of the reasons the Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also traveling in the region. Just

really underscores right now. The emphasis put on partnership with these countries.


ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely (INAUDIBLE) Secretary of State for defense, of course, Lloyd Austin in the UAE later this week. Sam, this visit, of course

by Blinken, after what was a messy U.S. exit one hopes that -- one assumes that he's hoping to raise America's profile on the Afghan situation to a

certain extent. You've been watching what's going on the ground and where Qatar has been aiding in, for example, the reopening of the Kabul airport.

What do we know about that at this point?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know it's ongoing. One of the issues for the Kabul airport, it's not just relates to

Kabul airport but Mazar-i-Sharif and arguably Kandahar too is the processing of passengers, according to Qatari officials, the Taliban don't

have the resources to safely process passengers. The X-ray machines and similar equipment that wasn't used to run massive numbers of evacuees onto

a military aircraft, it most certainly is necessary to fly commercial aircraft in and out, that is a problem.

The Taliban have said that they accused the Americans of destroying some of the radar equipment. So, if that's true, that's a problem. They've got

Qatari experts and Turks are on the ground, trying to fix the equipment and set up the systems for opening the airport itself. And this all largely not

just symbolic, but also very important, Becky. You mentioned Blinken's visit coming here, he still is, under his administration.

The White House under a great deal of pressure still to repatriate Americans who still may wish to get out of Afghanistan. And indeed

Americans, or other Afghans have worked alongside the Americans and other coalition members who are still stuck in Afghanistan and might want to get

out. And at the moment, the only ways out appear to be by air. And at the moment, that's not possible because these aircraft -- airports are not open

yet to passengers. Becky?

ANDERSON: So the U.S.'s top diplomat in Doha moving on to Germany, where many of those U.S. citizens and indeed Afghans associated with the U.S. in

the past are being processed in the hope to get into the U.S. And Barbara, the top man at the Pentagon, of course, making his way here to the UAE. A

big effort, clearly, as you have rightly pointed out to applaud the efforts of what the U.S. will consider its allies in region and one assumes, talk

to them about what happens next.

Is it clear at this point what the U.S. expects from its Gulf allies? You alluded to this. Do we have any more about how this relationship might work

going forward?

STARR: Well, I think the U.S. is very much looking for that partnership. And why is that? You need to place -- the U.S. needs a place to base its

aircraft, base its drone. Have troops who can conduct those operations, if needed. And remember, for these Gulf allies, we haven't talked about it in

several weeks but very much Iran lurks over the horizon. The Gulf allies that the U.S. has, very cautious about any Iranian moves.

So the U.S. still well out of Afghanistan needs eyes and ears in the region. They need to have that basing but they also need their intelligence

network. They need people they can talk to, share information with across the board. And I think it's an attempt to -- I'll get the Afghan situation

moving, get these refugees process but also very much reset post- Afghanistan, and say, okay, we are allies, we are partners in a coalition. Now let's set the stage for moving forward.

ANDERSON: Do you get the sense from your sources at the Pentagon that this is the U.S. to a certain extent playing catch up? Now with everything that

happened in Afghanistan, which was so quick in those last couple of weeks before the deadline of the 31st, do you get the sense that this next phase

is having to be -- the strategy for this next phase is having to be accelerated at quite some clip at this point?

STARR: I don't know. Becky. I think it's hard to determine at this point. We may only know the answer to that in the coming weeks and months. The

U.S. certainly still looking for viable targets for ISIS-K, ISIS in Afghanistan, if they pose a threat to the U.S. or U.S. interests. They want

to be able to go after them and they will need that relationship with the Gulf allies, as I said, to be able to do that.


STARR: So I think they are setting the stage for the future. But don't forget the Biden administration very much still wants to shift military

focus to Russia and China, Afghanistan, the events of the last several weeks prove. It's very hard to do that. Events tend to interfere with

political agendas.

ANDERSON: To both of you for the time being, thank you very much indeed. We are also following is our very disturbing story out of Central Afghanistan

where a female police officer was killed. She was eight months pregnant and worked at a prison in Ghor province. One of her sons says Taliban members

stormed their home, killed her in front of the family. The Taliban say they weren't involved and they are investigating.

A little later on this show. CNN has been investigating the way life is now under the Taliban and outside Kabul. We've enlisted the help of local

journalists to be our eyes and ears on the ground. Our exclusive report is coming up.

And for the first time in almost a year and a half. Millions of students in Mexico are returning to the classroom but less than half of them showed up

on the first day. Why? More on that ahead.

Plus, an apparent coup in Guinea sparked international concern. How the takeover could impact stability in Western Africa and supply chains around

the world? You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. In the hour, I'll be joined by the former Afghan deputy commerce minister, Kamila Sidiqi was forced to

flee Afghanistan after the Taliban took over. Her take on how to help Afghan women is ahead.


ANDERSON: Millions of children around the world will go back into their classrooms. Kids the world over have experienced so much uncertainty over

the last year and a half with so much of their learning online, if at all. So this week, we wanted to travel around the globe and take a look at how

countries are coping with trying to get children and youngsters the education that they so desperately need.

Today we begin with Mexico where 25 million children are returning to school for the first time in over a year and a half. Rafael Romo joins me

from Mexico City with more. And Raphael well, while as I understand it, many kids and no surprise are excited about getting back into their

classroom. It seems that parents not so confident. Why?


ROMO: Yes, that's right, Becky. Well, what we've seen here in Mexico is that a disconnect between guidelines from the federal government about

returning to school and what the states are actually doing. Some cities like here in the capital, have been more successful than other places at

bringing children back to school. Some parents and teachers say they agree with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador that children need to go back to

school but complain the support needed to do it in a safe way in the middle of the pandemic, was just not there.


ROMO (voice-over): For the first time in 17 months, these Mexican students are going back to school in person, other than blessings and hugs, their

return is far from normal. Upon arrival, their hands are sanitized, and their temperature checked. Parents seem anxious.

We're in the middle of a pandemic, the highest peak as far as I know, it was not an easy decision. We hope the school has taken the right measures

this father said. Asked how she felt about going back to school, the seven- year-old could only utter one word. Excited she said.

I'm afraid of getting infected and getting my whole family infected. That's my fear this student said. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in

July that classes would resume at the end of August rain or shine, pandemic or not.

There are no major risks for children or teenagers, the President said. We can have good control in the pandemic. Should not be an excuse to keep

schools closed. More than 25 million elementary and middle school students were supposed to resume classes in person in Mexico on August 30th. In the

end, less than half showed up. According to figures from the Mexican government, only 45 percent of students showed up on day one and 52 percent

of schools actually managed to open.

Were Mexican schools, teachers, students ready to go back to school given that the country still in the middle of the pandemic?

PABLO CLARK, SENIOR RESEARCHER, MEXICAN INSTITUTE FOR COMPETITIVENESS: Unfortunately, most schools were probably not ready to welcome students

back in a safe and efficient manner.

ROMO: Pablo Clark, analyze Mexico's education system preparedness for reopening and what he found was that some schools didn't even meet the

minimum requirements for a safe return.

CLARK: When parents go to their schools and actually talk to their teachers into their principals. They realize that there are no conditions to put in

practice. The guidelines are coming from the federal government. They see that their schools do not have adequate infrastructure, they do not have

access to running water.

ROMO: Members of a Powerful Teachers Union block the President's access to independent Chiapas recently as a protest for what they consider a lack of

guarantees for the safe return to the classroom. The President's answer. I won't be blackmailed. By the end of May, Mexico was one of only 23

countries around the world that still kept its schools closed due to the pandemic.

(on camera): Many of the parents we talked to hear the capital are still hesitant to allow their children to go back to school because it didn't

feel conditions for a safe return were met. But in the end, many decided to still send them back because they were afraid of the long term academic

impact to their children after 17 months away from the classroom.


ROMO: And back live here in Mexico City. According to the experts we interviewed it is estimated that Mexican students have fallen behind 1.8

years of school and given that access to virtual education was far from Universal here in Mexico. If you consider that the total average is 9.7

years, Becky. That gives you a clear idea about why parents and teachers are so concerned about their children falling behind. Back to you.

ANDERSON: Well, Romo is in Mexico City, thank you, sir. Kids, in Israel, also returning to school this week.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's all fun and games at our Arazim school in Tel Aviv where these new first graders are readying themselves for class to the

shadow of COVID.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are worried, of course, but really, really we don't have a choice.


ANDERSON: We'll have that full report tomorrow as part of our back to school series right here on CONNECT THE WORLD.

Well, up next, we are getting a first glimpse of life under the Taliban inside Kabul. Also take you on an exclusive journey into rural Afghanistan

looking at our life under the Taliban. There has changed.

ANDERSON: And celebrations in Guinea after the military takes over in an apparent coup. We'll look at what's next for that African nation. You're

watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson.


ANDERSON: Back after this.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi and you are watching CONNECT THE WORLD where it is 25 past 6:00. As we wait to see what

kind of shape Afghanistan's new government will take. We are getting some clues about how things might shake out. Here's a first glimpse of life

under the Taliban inside Kabul as you can see here with the segregation of women's students at a university in the Capitol.

We're also outside Kabul. Nic Robertson with help from a local journalists taken an exclusive look at life under the Taliban in rural Afghanistan.

Have a look.


ROBTERSON (voice-over): Inside the new Afghanistan. In rural Paktika Province far from Kabul, the Taliban's provincial governor has called a

meeting. No women to be seen. Local village elders and tribal chiefs listen. A young boy takes a selfie much has changed since the Taliban were

lost in charge. Smartphones and social media. But poverty still the country's biggest problem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We have many expectations and we are praying the Taliban will deliver.

ROBERTSON: The week after Kabul fell, a local journalist took a road trip for us to see what was happening outside the capital. Taliban guide showed

him the way but the border changes already underway. Part charm offensive giving traders what they want longer opening hours at the border and park

crack down keeping men and women apart.

SYED KANDAHARI, TALIBAN BORDER COMMANDER (through translator): Let me tell you before we had one single line for both men and women, now we have two.

They are kept apart.

ROBERTSON: Pakistani officials easing into the new relationship back in the segregation. On this journey two things become clear. Afghanistan's near

financial collapse and the hard switch to religious rule. Spotting a crowd, the team stop. It's a provincial courthouse. Inside, local leaders careful

to praise the new boss. We used to have to go a long way to get to a Taliban court, he says. Now we have one right here.


ROBERTSON: The new judge in town quite literally laying down the Taliban law. Their interpretation of Islamic law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We asked the previous judges how they used to work. They said they were following the law of the land, not

the Sharia. In Islamic Emirate, all court proceedings are according to the Sharia law.

ROBERTSON: And the Taliban rule in the 1990s, the Taliban's Sharia law led to public amputations for thieves. Stoning of adulterers, even hanging. But

in the local market, Sharia law is not the big concern. It's making a living.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Business is very bad. We don't know who's in charge. Only low rank people are here. We don't know if we can

trust them. They're not telling us anything and the situation has not improved. Prices are going up.

ROBERTSON: In the barber shop, business is down. It's not only me, he says the business is bad in the market. It's not as good as before. They're not

alone. The local pharmacist is also struggling. Stocks already depleted under the last government. The clinics maternity nurse also worried about

finances says the previous government didn't pay her for the past four months, and she can't afford to go home. Closer to Kabul, another doctor,

more problems.

Day and night, he says, we get 25 to 30 patients. Can we have just one doctor and one nurse for them all? Outside the hospital, the Taliban claim

an alternate reality.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Before you didn't know whether the doctor was coming or not, but now they are there for you all the time.

ROBERTSON: On this trip, the Taliban's prioritizing of Sharia law and bits of charm offensive, seemingly missing Afghans most important needs. A

secure livelihood. Nic Robertson, CNN, Islamabad, Pakistan.

ANDERSON: Guinea's military is attempting to consolidate power. The day after arresting the president in an apparent coup. Soldiers have set up

checkpoints around the Capitol and they have summoned outgoing officials to a meeting in Parliament. The leaders of the takeover are promising a new

Union Government saying they removed the president because of poverty and corruption.

Well, Conde was Guinea's first Democratically elected president but he sparked anger after seeing a third term. Under his reign, the mineral rich

economy saw some growth but not everyone benefited from it. His ouster comes a year after a successful coup in neighboring Mali. David McKenzie

following the developments for us. He joins us live from Johannesburg. What's the situation on the ground right now? And what are the potential

implications at this point?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are a lot of implications. And it is, as you mentioned, after Mali's coup and what

appear to be a certainly dodgy transfer of power in chat, now you have the situation in Guinea. And you had those dramatic scenes unfolding, Becky,

yesterday in the Capitol where Special Forces rapidly took over the controls of power.

Eighty-three-year-old Alpha Conde is somewhere under arrest, unspecified where though they say he is safe, and his dignity is being maintained. That

last part, you might question about, you had these extraordinary scenes unfolding in the Capitol with very senior members of the government

assembling at the behest of the Colonel Dumbuya who was the head of the Special Forces now basically, the de facto leader of the nation coming at

his behest and assembling in front of the new military leaders.

It is unclear what kind of government they want to form and of course, the surrounding nations, the regional bank, the African Union, the U.S., the

French and most recently Russia, all condemning this takeover apart. Becky?

ANDERSON: How might instability in the country affects security in that part of Africa? That is what the international community. Let's face it,

are going to be looking at, isn't it?

MCKENZIE: I think I think they are very concerned about instability. At this point. It's calm, as I said in Conakry. There has been mostly domestic

instability in the last few years. In part because of the decisions that the outgoing president took, including extending his ability to be

president into a third term and squashing popular dissent. Now, that doesn't mean despite the cheering you see on the streets of his exit, that

eventually, this military leadership will be any better.


MCKENZIE: There is of course, worry about instability broadly in that region as it reaches out of Guinea into neighboring Mali. And that will be

a question. There's also just the real politic and economic questions. This country is one of the largest producers of bauxite, and all that is using

aluminium. And it's just those kind of nuts and bolts trade issues. You saw the aluminium price spike almost instantaneously when this coup unfolded.

So, those kinds of economic interests will be watched very closely by China, Russia and others. And that might really downplay some of the very

strident remarks they've made so far about condemning this coup when it comes to the reality with doing trade with this important country.

ANDERSON: David McKenzie on the story for you. David, thank you. I want to connect you to Israel now where a manhunt is underway after six Palestinian

prisoners escaped from prison. One is a commander of the militant wing of Fatah while the others are part of Islamic Jihad. Andrew Carey with more on

who they are and how they got out.


ANDREW CAREY, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Israeli investigators shine a light through a small opening in the floor of the

prison cell. Hours earlier, six Palestinian security prisoners that apparently squeezed through this narrow drop and made their escape. They

located an existing underground passage built as part of the prisons foundations. As Israeli T.V. explained, it was then just a 100-foot crawl

underground and out through a hole just yards from the prison wall.

First word of the breakout had come in the middle of the night, when authorities were notified by locals of suspicious activity around the


SHIMON BEN SHABO, ASSISTANT POLICE COMMISSIONER: Football the main shaft manhunt has been underway for the last few hours and our aim is to capture

the escapees as soon as possible. There is no need for people in the area to change their routines.

CAREY: Among the six on the run is Zakaria Zubeidi, he led fighters of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade in Jenin, in the north of the West Bank during the

Second Intifada. He was rearrested two years ago accused of involvement in shooting attacks on civilians. The other five are all said to be members of

Islamic Jihad serving sentences for terrorism offenses. in Gaza, Islamic Jihad loyalists celebrated the breakout, which the group called a heroic


They handed out sweets to drivers and passers by. For Israeli authorities, though it's a significant embarrassment. A similar breakout attempt from

the same Gilboa prison in the north of Israel was made in 2014 but foiled. Security officials will be worried this time at the prospect of potentially

violent confrontations, if their search for the escaped man takes them into Palestinian towns and cities. Andrew Carey, CNN Jerusalem.


ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. Still ahead, an important sports story taking place off the pitch. How a

tournament of tomorrow is helping Afghans in desperate need today.


ANDERSON: The number of storm-related deaths from Hurricane Ida is still climbing on the U.S. Gulf Coast. This is a week after the storm hit there.

Health authorities in Louisiana say the latest victim is a 74-year-old man who died from the heat, or more than a half a million customers across the

state are still without power and they are facing another day of scorching temperatures. Here's Louisiana's governor with a stern warning.


JON BEL EDWARDS, LOUISIANA GOVERNOR: Heat is a major factor right now. That's especially true in areas without power because you can't go in and

cool off with air conditioning, you typically can't go in and get a cold drink of water, and that sort of thing. So please take advantage of cooling

shelters if you can. Run your generators if you have to. But do it safely. And make sure you continue to check on your neighbors especially those who

are elderly or have special needs.


ANDERSON: Well, Louisiana residents are also navigating a minefield of other challenges including shortages of gasoline, food, and water.

Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. And thousands of farmers in India have held a mass rally

to protest three contentious farming laws. At least 150,000 people showed up on Sunday. One of the biggest gatherings since demonstrations began last

year for months. For months, farmers have been fighting the laws which they say leave them open to exploitation by large corporations.

Mexican authorities blocked a caravan of about 500 migrants from reaching the United States. The National Guard blocked the highway in the southern

Chiapas state. You can see some pushing and shoving and migrants were mainly mainly from Haiti, Venezuela and from Central America.

China's Weibo is cracking down on what it calls irrational start chasing behavior. A Twitter-like platform is temporarily suspending more than 20K

pop fan accounts. The move comes as Beijing takes aim at celebrity fan culture among China's young people.

We've got a tiny reminder now of how sometimes sport in this case football can transcend stats, goals or club loyalty. This is the president of FIFA

visiting a World Cup facility in Qatar that is providing temporary housing for Afghans in the country. Gianni Infantino says seeing the compound uses

way, "fills us with joy." Well, Qatar says it's an important way to honor the legacy of the World Cup. A competition of course.

Amanda Davis which Qatar will host come November 2022. Just 14 months out. What do you make of these pictures?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky, you know, it hasn't necessarily been the most positive build up. So hosting the World Cup has

effect Qatar but one thing that can't be denied, they are incredibly well developed in terms of the building and the infrastructure. And as you're

saying, with over, you know, just over a year out, they say they want the legacy of this World Cup to be not only for Qatar but for the entire

region, that of the Middle East.

And to be able to use some of the accommodation that's already been built for the World Cup to house these Afghan refugees. These people that Gianni

Infantino seeing specifically groups of journalists and their families who have been evacuated from Afghanistan. Really, really powerful message as

the countdown continues.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. Amanda is back with World Sport after this short break. We will be back with the second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD after

that. Do stay with us.